The accusations were that the cross-hair symbols that used to appear on her website, “targeting” Democrat political leaders that she, and the Tea Party movement considered to be bad leaders they wanted to replace through the election cycle, were directly or indirectly responsible for pushing Jared Loughner into a shooting frenzy, killing a Federal Judge and a 9-year old girl, among others, as well wounding more than a dozen people including Representative Gabrielle Giffords (a Decmocrat). Such pundits have gone on, sometimes back-peddling and sometimes not, to include other right-wing celebrities as part of a “group of terrorists” that, these left-wing pundits claim, are spewing hate speech and inciting riots and violence.
Of course, the Democrats and the rest of the “left” never do that.
This is all nonsense, of course. Let's review some of the facts surrounding these accusations, even though the term “facts” may turn off a few liberal-leaning people in America these days.
- Jared Loughner, the man accused in the shooting, is a registered Independent, not a Republican.
- His own political leanings aligned more with the Zeitgeist movement than the Tea Party movement.
- Jared Loughner's problems with Representative Giffords started as early, or earlier, than 2007, before the Tea Party movement, shortly after Sarah Palin became the governor of Alaska and before she became prominent in the national political scene.
- It is likely that he suffered from schizophrenia and possibly paranoid psychosis.
- His friends say he did not watch television, listen to the radio, or take sides with any major political party.
How in heaven's name does an otherwise rational person get a picture of a guy who's gone off the deep end because of Sarah Palin and right-wing talk show hosts from that? It's ludicrous.
Now let's look that the timeline involved in the shootings, and Palin's response:
January 8: A tragic shooting in Tuscon takes place. Within minutes, some people in the media begin blaming Sarah Palin and demanding she respond.
January 9: Evidence about Jared Loughner begins to be revealed, showing that he had nothing to do with Sarah Palin or the Tea Party movement. The media continues to demand a response from her.
January 10: More evidence about the shooter is revealed, showing him to be mentally ill. The media continues to cry for a response from Palin.
January 11: Evidence comes out to show that the shooter didn't care about politics. The media continues to call for a response from Palin.
January 12: Sarah Palin responds via video posted at YouTube and her Facebook page. NBC Nightly News pulls out her “target map,” ties it to Gifford, and then focuses on two words of her response video, “blood libel,” and then accuses her of being anti-Semitic because of it. The rest of the media, and the blogosphere, go wild with continuing accusations and nonsense.
What kind of story is the media trying to create? Note that I said CREATE, not REPORT. There are no facts here linking any of Palin's activities to Loughner.
In other words, in order to attack Palin and the Tea Party movement, they're making shit up.
Are you still with me? Here's the part of Palin's response so many seem to have trouble with:
“But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.”
Blood libel (also called blood accusation) refers to a false accusation or claim that religious minorities, usually Jews, murder children to use their blood in religious rituals and holidays.
In other words, in order to attack Jews and other religious/cultural groups, they're making shit up.
Her analogy is spot on. In this case, it's not an unfounded attack on a religion. It's an unfounded attack on a political ideology.
How many of you recognized the next step, already being taken by at least one government official, attacking free speech and the first amendment?
In the words of Arsenio Hall, “Just something to make you go, Hmmm ...”